Thalidomide-like drug appears to help bone cancer patients

A drug similar to thalidomide has been found to be promising with fewer side effects for treating patients with recurrent multiple myeloma, an incurable form of bone marrow cancer, according to early data from a clinical study. The drug, an analog of thalidomide, was developed to be more potent than thalidomide, while reducing some of thalidomide’s dose limiting side effects. Laboratory studies have shown that CC-5013 not only kills myeloma cells by triggering their innate self-destruct mechanism but also inhibits the myeloma cells ability to localize and grow in the bone marrow. Moreover, it appears to have anti-angiogenic effects and stimulates the immune system to attack myeloma.